Outline sermons – Greg Hanley
The only way back to God
Reading Genesis 4 v1-16 & Romans 15v4
In Genesis chapter 3 we see mankind represented by Adam fall away from God and sadly put out of paradise. (Gen 3v24) But all is not lost for our first parents were promised a Saviour 3 v 15 and had been clothed with the animal skin , v21, here was the first sacrifice, the first type of Calvary. They we accepted and they knew there was a way back to God.
There’s a way back to God
From the dark paths of sin,
There’s a door that is open,
And you may go in,
And Calvary’s cross is where you begin,
When you come as a sinner to Jesus.
When we open chapter 4 we learn of the sad consequences of sin in the lives of Adams children.
1 The two brothers
We might be tempted to say Abel turned out to be a good person and Cain bad. We would be wrong, for both were sons of a fallen Adam. Neither was innocent, both were born outside of Paradise, both had sinful natures, but both knew the only way back to God.
‘Adam lost his innocence and never regained it. He can be looked upon as the fallen head of a fallen race, who by his ‘disobedience’ were made sinners. (see Romans 5 v17-19) He became, so far as he was personally concerned, the corrupt source from whence have emanated the corrupt streams of ruined and guilty humanity – the dead trunk from which have shot forth branches of a dead humanity, morally and spiritually dead.’ (CHM)
And so the word of God is clear –
‘All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.’ Romans 3v23
Experience proves this to be a fact of life
It is also true that Adam became to subject of grace, and he had faith in the promised Saviour, and no doubt he passed this word to his children. They knew there was a way back to God. They knew they needed to exercise faith in God’s promise.
2 The two offerings
Please read Hebrews 11v4.
1 Abel’s offering
‘By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice that Cain…..God testifying of his gifts….’
Now see Romans 10v17. ‘Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.’ Abel believed what he heard and this is reflected in the sacrifice which he brought to God.
He came before God knowing he was a sinner, he was lost and that God was holy. That he faced death and judgment. He could not alter those facts.
He accepted God’s provision – he put the death of a substitute between himself and God.
So here we see the teaching of the Cross (see Hebrews 10v12)
2 Cain’s offering
He was the elder son, he was not godless, as is often suggested, he was religious and the offering he brought cost him…he sought access to the same Lord, but the way back to God which he took was his own. Cain invented his own way, which he thought was better. See Jude v 11, ‘….the way of Cain…’ and 1 John 3v12, ‘His works were evil..’
There are many Religions in the world today, all have this in common, they have invented their own way back to God, all are works based, all are trying to please God.
Abel went God’s way which was revealed in God’s Word.
Cain invented his own way – he brought the fruit of a cursed earth.
It was a way without blood, (Hebrews 9v22) which removes the curse. He could have brought a sin offering. (See Genesis 4v7)
‘The sweat of his brow’ was no substitute for the blood of the sacrifice.’
3 The two ways
So here we see the two ways.
One is God’s way,
The other is man’s,
One is by faith,
The other by fancy,
One is of grace,
The other of merit,
One is of faith,
The other is works,
One is Christianity,
The other is religion
One rests on what God has said – the other on what man thinks.
One rest on what the Lord Jesus has done at Calvary, the other on what man can do.
Which was are you going – God’s way or your own.